Fair warning – this isn’t an easy read. The world of animal testing is heart-breakingly cruel and most New Zealanders agree, responding with a resounding NO when asked if we should test cosmetics on animals. It was a triumph for animal welfare when NZ passed a 2015 bill that prevents animal testing here for the exclusive purpose of developing a cosmetic… but testing for other purposes is still allowed, and we still import products tested on animals.
In New Zealand alone, 300,000 animals are used or experimented on for ‘research, testing and teaching’ every year, being confined to laboratories and subjected to often painful tests. They can die as a result, or if they survive, they are usually killed.
Globally, 115 million animals a year are subjected to animal testing.
These numbers are staggering and are especially high in countries like mainland China where animal testing is mandatory for cosmetics. The unavoidable truth is that any brand that sells skincare or cosmetics in China is tested on animals, regardless of how ethical and cruelty free their own manufacturing standards and ethos are. Sales direct to Chinese consumers via offshore websites can avoid this requirement, but if the product is in store, it is not cruelty free.
We’ve spoken to New Zealand businesses who sent product to retailers China without realising that this meant it would be tested on animals. At least one major brand, which was developed with an ethical 100% cruelty free process, has removed its claim from labels as a result. An admirably honest move on their part, and they were devastated to realise what had happened. Smaller brands sometimes never realise that having their product in store in China means that the approval process included testing on animals.
Many global brands are touted as cruelty free, but like Benefit, they sell in China and send out mixed messages like “we do not test on animals unless required by law”…. and often parent companies own other brands that do test on animals. Other brands are legitimately cruelty free but their distributor companies decide to sell them in China, destroying their Cruelty Free status.
We love cruelty free – we know you do too!
It would take a hard-hearted beauty to feel comfortable with the knowledge that their mascara was tested on countless bunnies who lived their lives in isolation and captivity, enduring pain and ending in execution.
As women increasingly purchase brands that uphold animal welfare, the cruelty free beauty niche is becoming a financial motivation and even massive global brands are slowly responding to the growing movement to cruelty free beauty. Estee Lauder recently pledged to bring an end to cosmetic testing on animals by 2023. Bring it on we say – better late than never!
In the meantime, we are 100% dedicated to supporting cruelty free beauty brands!
Looking for cruelty free cosmetics & skincare?
We’ve made this as easy as possible for you.
Oh Natural ONLY sell cruelty free products. All our cosmetics, skincare, hair care and home and living products are developed and made without testing on animals.
Okay, many test on humans who volunteer to try their new goodies – but we are down with that!
Cruelty-free shopping guides for when you are out and about are also available here, listing companies that don’t do animal testing or sell in countries that require animal testing by law.:
Feel like some guilt free shopping? Use your dollar to support beauty brands that are kind to animals and help change the world for the better.